Sure gonna miss Palazzo

The biggest shock when I arrived back in Pittston after spending Thanksgiving with my son and his wife in LA was not going from 90 degree weather to 30 degree. It was discovering that Palazzo had closed.
For years I had said the success of downtown Pittston depended greatly on the success of Palazzo, the upscale restaurant in the heart of the city. And Palazzo did its part.
A sign that Pittston was about to experience a renaissance was driving down Main Street on a Saturday night a few years ago and not being able to find a single parking space. The spaces were filled with Jaguars, Audis and BMWs. Their owners dining inside Palazzo.
My personal experiences with Palazzo are plenty and positive. A particular New Year’s Eve, counting down to midnight at the bar after enjoying a luscious meal. Dining right at the bar with our friend Michael Clark, Tony Carfora holding court from his reserved corner stool, his wife hostess Sharon suggesting menu items and their son Mitch pouring our drinks.
And time after time ordering my go-to entrée: the pappardelle with veal ragu. Excellent.
I had it a couple of weeks ago not knowing it would be the last time we’d dine at Palazzo.
I told bartender Matt to hold my usual vodka martini. “I drink Manhattans during the holiday season,” I said, adding, “I think it has something to do with the color. They’re festive.”
He said I must try his signature rye Manhattan. I did and made immediate plans to stop in as often as I could during the Christmas season.
Little did I know the only one I had turned out to be a good-bye toast.
The best to everyone at Palazzo, from owner Beth right on down. Thanks for the memories. The smile-inducing, lip-smacking memories.

Ed Ackerman